The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has joined with the UAE to commit $200 million in funding to respond to immediate and long-term threats to food security and nutrition caused by climate change.

On the second day of COP28, Bill Gates made the announcement alongside UAE climate change and environment minister Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri.

More than $2.5 billion has been mobilised by the global community to support the food-climate agenda, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment and COP28 Food Systems Lead, announced during the session.

Over 130 countries including the UK, US and China – representing over 5.7 billion people, 70% of the food we eat, nearly 500 million farmers and 76% of total emissions from the global food system – have signed up to the leaders-level ‘COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action.’

The foundation also called for donors to support global agricultural research network Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) 2025-2027 to reach 500 million farmers by 2030 to reduce emissions from farming by one gigaton per year.

 “We need to make big bets on innovation to ensure smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the tools they need to adapt their practices, feed their people, and build resilience in the face of climate change,” said Gates. “The needs of farmers are an integral part of the global climate agenda.”   

The foundation’s $100 million investment, announced on Friday, matches the UAE’s commitment of $100 million towards a climate disaster fund, and will support organisations, like the CGIAR, that develop agricultural innovations.

Additional foundation funding will support the work of AIM4Scale, a new climate adaptation initiative to be launched by the UAE.

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)